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I'm using Overleaf and trying to use the built-in feature to load references from Mendeley.

However, there is a bug where Web Page's accessed dates do not load into the Bibliography, see here.

In this thread, the workaround by @Aslak Todal is:

One of the fields that are provided is "publications", which is transferred to the .bib file as @booktitle. Since most webpages don't have book titles, this can be exploited by copy-pasting the date accessed into the "publications" field and using BibLaTeX-settings that displays the @booktitle field for @misc entries.

In Mendeley I have included the accessed date in "publications", but I'm not sure how to modify the BibLaTeX settings to display @booktitle for @misc entries.

Please could someone give an example on how I would modify this formatting so that I can properly cite web pages?

Thanks.

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  • Have you contacted Mendeley's helpdesk? They are the primary go-to station for Mendeley-related issues.
    – Mico
    Jan 7 '21 at 19:50
  • 1
    I thinks it's a mistake to try and define a booktitle field for entries of type @misc.
    – Mico
    Jan 7 '21 at 19:51
  • In the post I linked to this workaround is proposed by Overleaf's support due to the bug mentioned. I agree it's not ideal.
    – OscarVanL
    Jan 7 '21 at 21:57
5

biblatex does not use the booktitle field for @misc entries and I don't think it makes sense semantically to force biblatex to do so.

Frankly, I believe that Mendeley should just properly write the URL access date into the urldate field when it exports .bib files for biblatex. A software that claims to be compatible with biblatex should not require extremely unusual workarounds like the one suggested in the quote.

You should definitely complain to the Mendeley people. You may also want to consider using a software that properly supports biblatex in its .bib export feature.

If you must stick with Mendeley and can only bring it to export to the access date to the booktitle field, you can try to remap booktitle to urldate for @misc entries.

\documentclass[british]{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{babel}
\usepackage{csquotes}

\usepackage[backend=biber, style=authoryear]{biblatex}

\DeclareSourcemap{
  \maps[datatype=bibtex]{
    \map{
      \pertype{misc}
      \step[fieldsource=booktitle,   fieldtarget=urldate]
    }
  }
}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@misc{elk,
  author    = {Anne Elk},
  title     = {A Theory on Brontosauruses},
  year      = {1972},
  url       = {https://example.edu/~elk/bronto.pdf},
  booktitle = {2021-01-07},
}
\end{filecontents}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\begin{document}
Lorem \autocite{elk}

\printbibliography
\end{document}

Elk, Anne (1972). A Theory on Brontosauruses. url: https://example.edu/~elk/bronto.pdf (visited on 07/01/2021).

4
  • Thanks for this detailed reply! I agree it's not ideal and Mendeley and Overleaf need to work to fix this issue.
    – OscarVanL
    Jan 7 '21 at 21:58
  • @OscarVanL If I understand correctly what is going on here, I don't think Overleaf can do any better here. This appears to be completely on Mendeley, since they are the ones exporting the .bib file. I have seen several complaints about Mendeley and its .bib export on this site, and I always encourage users with such issues to complain to Mendeley, but I don't know if people report the issues to the Mendeley developers and if the developers care about it. ...
    – moewe
    Jan 8 '21 at 7:49
  • ... From what I have heard Zotero (an open source alternative to Mendeley) usually gives better results in its .bib export especially with the Better BibTeX plugin. I think Zotero also integrates with Overleaf to some degree, so maybe that would be an alternative. (But I use neither Overleaf nor Zotero or Mendeley productively, so this is mostly hearsay.) The Zotero developers are also very responsive on GitHub and their support forum.
    – moewe
    Jan 8 '21 at 7:51
  • Thanks for the suggestion! Open source is better :)
    – OscarVanL
    Jan 8 '21 at 10:19

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